Nature, Nurture, and Violence
The film We Need to Talk About Kevin focuses on a mother coping with the horrifying reality of her son's mass killing at school. The film offers flashbacks of the complex and troubled relationship between the mother and son but provides no definitive answer as to the cause of the atrocity.
In their review of the film, April Bradley and Erin Olufs discuss a variety of factors that can shed light on such a situation, for example, attachment styles, temperament, parenting, genetics, and parent–child conflict. Which do you believe plays the most significant role? Is it possible that one factor is typically the most dominant, or is it always relative to the particular situation or individual? Although the people responsible for mass killings are the product of both nature and nurture (and their interaction), which factor is most responsible for violent acts? Is there research to justify your position?
By April Bradley and Erin Olufs
PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(49)